The title of this post says it all. French Country = casual elegance. Despite the obvious nod French Country style gives to classical forms and shapes, there’s something about the natural wood, antiquing, and neutral color palette that keeps a room in this style from becoming too uptight or fussy. So if you’re looking for an interior design style that both looks comfortably inviting and elegantly sophisticated, you’ve come to the right blog post! Read more about French Country dining below!
French Country Explained
What about French Country makes it so casually elegant? I think it has a lot to do with the combination of two elements that you’d think would normally conflict: the classic lines and shapes of details in the furniture and accessories; and the informal, irregular, natural, distressed, antiqued or stripped finish of the very same pieces. Fancy form and informal finish intersect to create the perfect blend that is French Country.
This being said, even the way you stage a room can be French Country in nature. The way you put all the individual pieces of a room together can be inspired by the concept of comfortable sophistication as well. A great starting point for a room, no matter the design style, is selecting the largest piece of furniture to be a statement piece in the room. In the conceptual dining space, that statement piece is the dining table.
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French Country Dining Essentials
For the perfect French inspired table, something plain and simple while the ornamental harp-shaped legs will provide lovely visual interest. Tables with a natural wood finish; with attractive imperfections are key. A Parisian style leg shape with imperfections shows a new interpretation on classical form, because you’d typically expect this shape to be represented in a more delicate way.
Another major part of the room, the seating, is up next. It should both compliment and contrast with the details of the table. I love a good mixture of seating with the chairs at the ends of the table acting as accents. You can use chairs that have some subtle detailing in the legs that ties back to legs on the table. Or maybe the backs of all the chairs have a classic silhouette, but the unexpectedly casual upholstery give them an unmistakably French Country twist.
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The French Finishing Touches
The décor you choose should draw inspiration from the rest of the major pieces in the space. Instead of wall art, set up a vignette with charmingly unique sconces and clocks. Or you could try to place some old world style accessories in relaxed fashion on the table and in the display case. They don’t have to draw too much attention, they can just quietly add atmosphere that makes the room feel complete!
Lastly the overhead lighting! The chandelier is probably the most delicate part of the room; and that’s perfectly fine! Before you decide that this piece is out of place, note the antiqued finish which “casualizes” (if I may make up a word) the piece. The scrolling arms of the chandelier and dainty wood bobbles really make this lighting the glazing on the French tart!
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A dining room is both a ceremonial and fully functional space. Use French Country styling to transform your dining room into both a space to be showcased and a space that is comfortable to use. Need some more inspiration? Browse our French Country collection at Kathy Kuo Home. Enjoy!